mike lives in spokane washington and is a pastor at a spirit community called branches

convergence of dog and man

convergence of dog and man

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I dropped my dog off at doggy day care today and has there ever been a moment of such profound heartbreak? Not sure. But the look on the face of the Dog that had followed me from the moment I got home last night after six days away seemed to embody betrayal. Embody a sadness that recognized a missed day of walks and talks and gallivanting about with his human pal. I felt my heart push itself past my chest, emerge out of my skin - full faced and all, look at me in the eyes, look down, shake its head, and saunter away. 

And right now, the four- legged-fur-jumping-bean that is our Dog, Oliver, is playing with that heart at doggy daycare. Because he took it with him.

There are a lot of classifications in the world. This goes without saying. In fact, even in saying it, I’m using classifications. Words classify and signify and point and that’s all well and good. But I’m finding when classification of distinction thaws a bit, when the pretension of homo sapien and canis lupus familiaris let’s its guard down, there’s something that is uncovered: connection. Simple and profound camaraderie and commonality. 

By domesticating our dog buddy’s, or perhaps them domesticating us, something interesting has begun to happen. We’re evolving together. 

Researchers from the University of Chicago and several international institutions found that several groups of genes in humans and dogs—including those related to diet and digestion, neurological processes, and disease—have been evolving in parallel for thousands of years. (National Geographic)

There are a few immediate things this triggers in me. And I have to be honest, the first is how much this explains why my Dog and I’s farts seem to smell the same. But outside of digestive bond, the neurological bit has me feeling a certain type of way…

Did Oliver’s heart rip out of his chest as he let the daycare worker take him back to play with the rest of his kind? Does he sit in that room, full of barking and piss and playing, pondering over how he is now separate from the one true buddy he wants to be walking around with? Even if that buddy doesn’t sniff his butt or run around on all fours? 

To put dogs with dogs and for me, a human, to be with humans, only continues this odd bit of classification we’ve been so obsessed with since the rational mind hijacked the stage. 

Dog and human, Mike and Oliver, in apartment hangs and glaring side eyes and long days spent together, get mutually annoyed, feel mutual thankfulness, laugh in our own sort of way. 

Two distinctions have begun to converge. And now one sits in a coffee shop and the other is rolling around in shit on a cement warehouse floor. Convergence splintering a bit. 

I don’t want to be fooled into thinking that I am human and Oliver is dog and let that be that. I don’t want to be fooled into thinking that the same water in me, the water of my blood and pulse and life and being and the water of my tears and urine and saliva and sweat, is not also remnants of the water once in leaves. Of the water once in the arteries of dinosaurs. Of the water that hydrated the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon. 

As the mysterious band Lovelier Other once said, you’re not looking very far if all you see is yourself. 

You and I our dogs and all of us, are a flowing river of all that has been. A mishmash of existence from varying parts and places all converging into the here and the now in the shape of flesh and bone.

these places still exist

these places still exist

getting side-eye from a turkey

getting side-eye from a turkey